Environmental variables affecting an arid coastal nebkha

Abel Sanromualdo-Collado, Juan Bautista Gallego-Fernández, Patrick A. Hesp, María Luisa Martínez, Nicholas O'Keeffe, Nicolás Ferrer-Valero, Luis Hernández-Calvento

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Foredunes in arid coastal dune systems comprise nebkhas, which originate by interactions between vegetation and aeolian sedimentation. While continuous foredunes in temperate climates have been widely studied, knowledge of interactions between biotic and abiotic drivers in foredunes formed by nebkha is still scarce. With the aim of exploring variables affecting arid foredunes, a range of morphological, sedimentological, and vegetation characteristics were measured on a single nebkha formed by a Traganum moquinii plant located in the foredune of Caleta de Famara beach (Lanzarote, Canary Islands). Variables were sampled at 120 plots in a 0.5 × 0.5 m square grid. A two-step process using multiple linear regression (MLR) analyses was developed to characterize 1) the influence that morphological variables and distance from the sea have on plant and sediment patterns on nebkha, and 2) the influence of plants on depositional sediment characteristics. Results indicate close relationships between distance from the sea, plant coverage, and sediment patterns. Empirical results were used to develop a conceptual model that explains the spatial distribution of bio- and geo-morphological characteristics of an arid nebkha foredune.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152868
Number of pages11
JournalScience of The Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Coastal dunes
  • Conceptual model
  • Foredune
  • Nebkha
  • Spatial distribution


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